Journal 2 Tim 1 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “…which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed for I know who I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard until That Day what has been entrusted to me.
Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.” 2 Tim 1:12-14
Observation: Obscure reference? Yes, but vitally important when up against suffering of all sorts and of all the spectrum of intensity.
Application: Today I am writing under the weather both physically and emotionally.
It is important for me to remember that being a Christian isn’t always happy and goodness flowing from all corners of the compass. I suffer, just like thousands of people do, from disappointments, frustrations, conflict, etc. I also suffer from physical ailments not the least for me is depression. Combine these and so much more and for sure the day is stinky and I don’t want to be around anyone.
But here I am. Being a Christian isn’t like being a member of a club where I can choose not to participate on any given weekend just “because.” Even if I am not participating in an event of any kind, large or small and no one is around to see, I still have a God in Heaven who sees. I am surrendered to Him in sickness and in health, in riches or in poverty, etc. until That Day when sight replaces faith.
It has been said by someone somewhere that true character is proven when displayed where no one is watching. It is true for being a Christian as well. I am proving my discipleship when I conduct myself and pursue Him in secret.
How do I do that? It is the basis of the reference above: “Follow the pattern of the sound words…guard the deposit entrusted to you…”
When I am down, I must seek Him more. When I am down, I need to REMEMBER the Gospel and Sound Doctrine even more thoroughly. To do that I MUST remember to pack the “good deposit” in my memory and heart in the better, less complicated, more focusable times—to establish the “pattern of sound words” in my life.
Not easy. When things are good I am usually like the grasshopper, not storing up food for winter. I should be like the ant, always toiling to prepare for the day when the snow comes and temperatures drop. To have an “Ant” attitude takes putting on an intentional attitude.
Today, I am struggling to remember the “pattern of sound words.” It isn’t easy because my flesh, the Old Man within me is screaming for attention. I rest and am assured that the Holy Spirit isn’t easily thwarted. He wants to see me pursue Him and the godliness that comes with it.
Prayer: Father, I come to you decrepit and defenseless. I cannot defend my conduct before Your Majesty. Help me to confess and repent. It is so difficult right now. I am weak; strengthen me O God, my Savior. I want to walk worthy of the Gospel today. I can’t think of tomorrow when today is such a battlefield. I surrender to You, help me to surrender. AMEN.